December 31, 2005



Abraham Houck

So after a rousing lunch buffet at Quaker Steak & Lube with Rommie and Salad Boy, I drive the Crosstown home.

Phone rings. It's Salad Wife.

I get the usual questions. What are you doing? Where are you? What are your plans? And I am being very vague. Because I want to surprise her.

See, she wanted a second dog for Christmas, a golden retriever like our previous ones, Yuletide and Hobart. We have a black lab right now named Lincoln and we love him, but we've always wanted two dogs.

It didn't work out for the holiday. The goldens were either exorbitantly expensive or non-existent at the shelters. So I try to hide my plan to drop by the pound to see if there are any goldens there for adoption.

I've been dropping by a couple times a week for a month to no avail. Same thing at the Humane Society, where we got Linc. Struck out there as well.

I fess up and tell her my plan. And she appreciates the effort but tries not to get her hopes up. She's heard me say this before.

Salad Boy and I walk in and see an empty kennel run back where the dogs with kennel cough and intact procreative glands are kept. Then the boy sees him.

"Dad, a goldie!"

I see an empty kennel and am about to dismiss him when I see a dog trot in from its outdoor run. Salad Boy is right.


The dog's about four months old. Lanky to the point of being too skinny. But he's a carbon copy of our first golden.


We call Salad Wife. She says to check him out and call her if we think he's a prospect. We fill out the paperwork to check him out to a petting run.

And darn if the dog isn't perfect. He's dirty and skinny, but he's got the typical golden temperment and sweet disposition. He's yet to uncork a bark. He sits on command. He fetches a toy and brings it back. About a million times in a row.


Bingo. He's perfect.

And as the above photo shows clearly, his bowels are functioning properly.

I call Salad Wife and she comes to the pound to see him. She covers her face when she sees him at first, his likeness to our first pup is so strong.

We talk about a name. She has Solomon in mind. Something about him having an old name like Sol cracks her up. Salad Boy and I agree. We decide to adopt him and go out to the front desk to do the paperwork.


As Brian waits nearby, we are told that the dog only came in today, in the early afternoon, in fact. He was found chained to the outside fence of the pound. He has kennel cough and will need to be neutered, but we can pick him up in about 10 days.

Then we notice what's on the wall next to Brian.


Some things just seem like they fall together for a reason.

Later, when we get home and finish dinner, we talk about the name Solomon some more and joke about Sol. There used to be an old broadcaster on Channel 13 back in the day named "Salty" Sol Fleishman who did the sports and outdoors report while wearing a blue captain's hat.

"Sol just sounds like an old man's name,'' Salad Wife says.

"Yeah," I say. "Like Abraham or something."

"Abe is a great name for a dog," she says.

We both look at each other.

Abraham the golden retriever.

Lincoln the black lab.

Abraham Lincoln.

We dissolve into fits of stupidity bourne laughter.

And a dog gets a new name with his new home.

What, pray tell, does the new dog have to look forward to as a member of the Salad clan?


If he could speak, Lincoln no doubt would relate to his new compadre a litany of dismay over having to wear the Christmas Sweater of Shame this year.

Posted by Jeff at December 31, 2005 12:12 AM

Not only are you celebrating the holiday, you're performing a mitzvah at the same time. What a mensch!

Someday I'll get a chocolate lab and call him Bozack. Right now, I have enough to do. :-)

Posted by: kate at December 31, 2005 08:21 AM

TWO labs?

*shakes head*

At least there will be lots photos of destruction to look forward to.

Posted by: k at December 31, 2005 10:00 AM

Awesome Story! Heartwarming, perfect for the holidays too. I'll forgive you for not putting up the Bucs picts and for putting up these picts instead. We had a gorgeous black lab named Alex for 12 years, so I know how partial one can be toward labs.

Happy New Years to the Salad family!

Posted by: Laura at December 31, 2005 10:27 AM

Abraham and Lincoln - twas meant to be. I remember nearly 8 years ago when we were attempting to adopt a Lab from the Michigan Lab Rescue group and we got a call telling us that a black male pup - about 5 mos. old - was available. While I was on the phone getting details, my husband asked in the background "what's its name .. if it's something stupid like "Bingo" let's pass". (yeah, okay.) When I posed the question, the answer I got was "Captain." We were in the car within minutes to check him out and when we came home - put the Red Wings game on TV - he might as well get used to that being a big part of life in the homestead. No more than 5 minutes passed when "our captain" Stevie Y. scored a goal. Captain got a dog biscut and life has been good for him ever since.

Last year, thinking Captain might want a sibling, I found a black lab pup on the local human society Web site. His name? Sarge. It was tempting but I took my sister with me, since my son told me he thinks Captain likes being on "only" (like he is - both having top dog status in the house.)Long story short, sister adopted Sarge. He has managed to chew/destroy nearly everything in their household but never has there been so much love either. I have a new nephew and Captain has a cousin who he outranks.

Congrats on Abraham. Can't wait to see more photos!

Posted by: from Michigan at January 2, 2006 11:15 AM

Oh. My. God. You got another dog?! And a puppy at that! With health issues! What are you thinking? Lordy. Well, He's a lucky dog, no doubt. I'm sure he and Linc will be best buds.

Posted by: Karla at January 2, 2006 08:10 PM

He's adorable and an absolute ringer for your other doggie. Congratulations!

Posted by: Suzanne at January 3, 2006 11:30 AM


so exciting!!! welcome to the bowl, boy!

Posted by: jolie at January 3, 2006 06:57 PM
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